Phil Goss

Island come true

October 5 – November 20, 2023


Exhibition opening:

Thursday, October 5, 2023, 19:00


Alibi Gallery Is happy to present Island come true, by Phil Goss.

The solo show by the London-based artist opens on October 5, 2023 and will be on view through November 20, 2023, at the gallery’s showroom at Sarri 12, Athens. The exhibition will open on Thursday, October 5, 2023 at 19:00, in the presence of the artist.


Island Come True is a response by Phil Goss to visiting the island of Sikinos.

The show at Alibi Gallery is made up of drawings and paintings made on location and also works made later in his London studio.

It Is Phil Goss's second solo exhibition In Alibi Gallery and Athens.

Through playful experimentation in mark making, composition and collaging images, he unearths a new type of representation. The works are partly observational but also freely combine with references from literature and film such as Derek Jarman’s The Tempest and Theo Angelopoulos’s The Weeping meadow.


Below Phil Goss has written a short text describing his time on the island. 


Autumn 2021 (7day trip)

The tavernas were all boarded up, beaches empty and just a few people left . The people who were still on the island lived there the year round and gave me suspicious looks like I had missed the last ferry and didn’t know how to get back to where ever I had come from.

I would spend each of my seven days walking around the island making drawings with pen and ink and felt tips. On the days when the wind was really intense I was drawn to the shelter of an abandoned villa.

The villa was stuck out on its own, away from the road and village. I found out it was built at the start of the 20th century. During the war it had been occupied by Italian and German commanders. More recently it was struck by lightning and had fallen into disrepair. The grounds were overgrown with a collection of crumbling out buildings, a church and a clearing in the middle occupied by a series of pine trees. The whole thing looked like an empty stage set. I was attracted to the old pine trees that grew there and drew them repeatedly. Drawing those pine trees with their twisted shapes and flickering needles was like drawing the wind itself.


Winter 2023 (8 day trip)

Spring had not quite arrived yet. The island was even more quiet than when I came before. People were repairing the paths, weeding the many steps and getting ready for the arrival of spring. 

Fueled by spanakopita and coffee I carried on walking and drawing. Whereas before my drawings had an end of summer glow these drawing were colder and harsher, perhaps carrying some winter angst. The landscape seemed harsher than before. One day I saw a snake on the path. I was drawn back to the villa with its pine trees. Its needles were browner and thinner like they had aged. I also drew the tumbling terraces in blue ink. The rough bushes scattered like flames on the hillside. 


As Eleni Michaelidi wrote on the presentation of his previous Athens exhibition,

"Phil Goss works with a variety of media to produce multidisciplinary work that ranges from minimalistic mono-prints to multilayered murals, gestural drawings and canvas paintings with complex textures. His artistic practice is a balancing exercise between representation and abstraction, producing images that resist clear formulation through descriptive language."


Phil Goss (b. 1984, Bristol) is a multidisciplinary artist. He studied English Literature at Edinburgh University and Visual Communication at the Royal College of Art, London. Grounded in drawing, his work embraces a variety of techniques and materials that range from painting to textile prints and installation. He is interested in how a subject can be explored across a series of different mediums. Goss has shown extensively in the UK, including at the V&A Museum, Rye Art Gallery, Evelyn Yard Gallery, Josh Lilley Gallery, Aldeburgh Lookout Tower, Geddes Gallery, and London Design Festival; and has been commissioned work by Folk, Paul Smith, Alex Eagle, Blacks, Fix126, and Santoremedio. He is currently the Director of the Centre for Recent Drawing in London, where he lives and works.




Title: Phil Goss: Island come true

Dates: October 5 - November 20 2023

Address: Alibi Gallery, 12 Sarri St., Athens

Visiting Hours: Tuesday-Friday 12.00-14.00 & 15.00-19.00, Saturday 12.00-18.00